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One of the most unlikely of pop stars was Shelley Fabares, who parlayed her role on The Donna Reed Show into a #1 record!

Shelley had been acting since she was 3 and made her first television appearance at age 10. Four years later she was tapped to play Mary Stone, Donna Reed’s daughter on the long-running sitcom. Producers of the show noticed the success Ricky Nelson of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was having on the record charts. What they didn’t notice was that Ricky had genuine musical talent, with a big band leader for a father and a singer for mother.

Ms. Fabares and her TV-sibling, Paul Petersen, were quickly rushed into a recording studio. Petersen went enthusiastically, even continuing to record for Motown (!) after The Donna Reed Show ended. Shelley was much more reluctant. She felt she couldn’t sing, but the show’s producers gave her a choice: record or be replaced as Donna’s daughter. So, Shelley recorded.

The initial result was a #1 record in 1962 that surprised everyone – “Johnny Angel.” The success led to Shelley releasing an album, “Shelley!” that also sold well. Later the same year, she released a second album, “The Things We Did Last Summer,” which included two more songs that had chart success: “Johnny Loves me” and the title track for the LP.

Just one year later, Shelley left the show in search of other acting opportunities. She co-starred in not one, but 3 Elvis Presley movies (Girl Happy, Spinout and Clambake) and one Beach Party knock-off, Ride the Wild Surf.

She is also known for playing Craig Nelson’s girlfriend/wife on the long-running Coach. She has been married to Mike Farrell (M*A*S*H) since 1984.

While she never returned to the recording studio, “Johnny Angel” has become one of the best-remembered songs from that era and her albums are still available on CD and digital download.

Here is a recent photo of two rock & roll legends, who hadn't met until now. Do you recognize them? Here they are just a few short years ago - Tommy James and Connie Francis!

We are currently involved in a project, trying to commit to digital files the entire run of the Beatles official British fan magazine, Beatle Book Monthly. This magazine was never distributed in America, so most of these pictures and articles have never been seen in the States. The magazine ran from August, 1963 (6 months before Beatlemania broke out in the States) until the band's break-up in 1970.

Take a look at the center spread from the magazine's very first issue. Notice anything different about Ringo's bass drum?

BTW - If you'd be interested in obtaining a copy of these magazines once we have finished converting them to digital copies, contact us!

Part of the initial British invasion, the folk-influenced pop duo of Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde went on to rack up 7 Top 40 hits in the U.S. before the shift to progressive rock made their brand of soft standards passé.

As popular as the boys were on this side of the pond, it’s surprising they had very little success in their native England, managing only one hit record (their very first, “Yesterday’s Gone”)!

David Stuart Chadwick and Michael Thomas Jeremy Clyde met while attending school in the UK. It was the future Chad Stuart who taught Clyde how to play the guitar. They performed as a folk duo, then formed a rock band called the Jerks, before finally settling into the musical identity they would hold for the rest of their careers.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dick Pillar and His Polka Posse have had to cancel this year's Polkabration. Refunds available where you bought your tickets.

Annette Kleinbard was the female vocalist in The Teddy Bears, who, along with Phil Spector and Marshall Leib, had a 1958 hit called "To Know Him Is To Love Him". She later changed her name to Carol Connors and went on to co-write The Ripchords' 1964 hit "Hey Little Cobra", "Gonna Fly Now" (The Theme From Rocky), as well as the 1980 Billy Preston / Syreeta Wright duet "With You I'm Born Again".

An article from the official magazine of the Beatles Fan Club in the UK - Issue #11 June, 1964:

A Hidden Treasure From Rock & Soul’s Golden Era

A series of posts about albums you may have missed back in the day when so much good music was coming out on nearly a daily basis. But now that the real “good stuff” is few and far between, you might want to backtrack and add these gems to your music collection.

The Move was the right band in the right place at the wrong time. Successful from the start in their native England, they released a string of songs that went Top 10 in the UK, but went nowhere in the U.S. Their first, self-titled album wasn’t even released in the States. It was their second album, “Shazam,” released in February of 1970 that introduced the group to American audiences.

It remains one of rock’s great underappreciated masterpieces – a tremendous example of the kind of power pop the Beatles pioneered and later championed by bands like Cheap Trick.

Perhaps it was the crudely drawn cover that kept the album from getting much attention at the time. Maybe it was their American label’s (A&M) lack of promotional push. Whatever the reason, the album never made the charts and was known only to a small cult of rock afficianados.

When ABBA stopped recoding in 1982 (they never officially broke up – they just stopped working together), it left many people hungry for any new ABBA material.

As the years have passed, much like the Beatles, the group has gone into the vaults and released a small smattering of previously unreleased material on “Deluxe Editions” and box sets of their classic power pop. But there is one ABBA-related item that may have flown under the radar.

When ABBA first came together in the early 1970s, they were close to being a “supergroup” of Swedish recording artists. Benny Andersson was the most famous of the quartet, having been a member of a very popular Swedish rock group known as the Hep Cats. Björn Ulvaeus had also found some success as a member of a Swedish folk group known as the Hootenanny Singers.

They're all adorable when they’re young! Like this future rock & roll troublemaker...

A good many people just assume that one of the Beatles’ best-known songs from the Sgt. Pepper era, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is about drugs. I mean, the initials spell out L-S-D, amirite?


Not so fast. John Lennon has always claimed the inspiration for the song’s title came from a picture his young son, Julian, drew. Julian said the picture was of his young schoolmate, Lucy O'Donnell, and that he did, in fact, tell his dad that it was a picture of Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

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